From the time King James II fled, in 1688, to France, in exile, several ‘Jacobite Risings’ arose in Scotland. They extended over nearly sixty years, all to put James or his son back on the throne.
In 1719, the Highland gathering of the clans has come to be more commonly known as, ‘The Forgotten Rising’. It was the only one in which help was offered by Spain.
King Louis XIV, of France, died in 1715 and James Francis Edward Stuart, was no longer supported by the French. He was obligated to flee to Italy.
Spain took action. Seeing a way to ignite Catholicism, in England, and get revenge on Britain, they provided James with ships, men, guns, ammunition and money. The onslaught was divided into two attacks. One would land on Britain’s south coast, the other would disembark in the Highlands.
The French notified of the armada set sail to cut them off. However, it was the powerful winds and huge swell of the waves in the English Channel that thwarted the assault. This came to be known as, the ‘Protestant Wind’. The ships deemed to put ashore in the south were wrecked and lost. James who had left Italy and reached Spain decided he would go no further.
The two other laden vessels, finally landed at Eilean Donan. The English had assembled at Inverness and were now marching towards them. The Highland clans who had gathered, took their stance at Glen Shiel, and the battle raged for hours. As casualties mounted on both sides, the English, got the upper hand. The clans scattered and the Spaniards surrendered. The rising of 1719 was over.
But the tale goes on. Thirty miles across country, through the dark forests of Loch Arkaig lay Urquhart Castle. Now in ruins, but with two hidden, deep caverns carved out of the rock face, on which the castle stands.
It was rumored the clans dumped the Spanish gold, in one of the cells, instead of the woods. In the other cell there appears to be a deadly toxin. Which when released will take the hands off those who found it, and then plague the land for centuries.
But what cavern holds what? One presumes the legend has terrified treasure seekers to keep them entirely at bay – or maybe the fortune has another guardian.
When the ‘Caledonian Canal’ was built connecting Inverness with Fort William it included Loch Ness. The water in the loch then increased another six feet. This meant any deep dark holes bored beneath the castle were now well and truly under water.
Nessie, who patrols this area of Loch Ness with regularity, has now become the keeper of the gold. So, even divers brave enough to take their chances in selecting the right cell, must first tackle the Loch Ness Monster.